About Robyn Roste

The short story is I'm a professional writer living and working in Abbotsford, BC Canada.

Little Women (2018) Movie Review

Imagine the Little Women you read (and loved) as a child set in modern-day times. Instead of Mr. March being deployed to the Civil War he’s…deployed overseas. Instead of Beth becoming sick with scarlet fever and recovering she’s…sick with cancer and goes into remission. Instead of Amy moving to France and marrying Laurie she…moves to France, becomes a crazy-successful painter and hooks up with Laurie. And instead of Jo moving to New York City to allow Laurie and Beth to fall in love (and ends up falling in love herself) she…moves to New York City in search of a book deal (and ends up falling in love herself).

Little Women Review Header

So, basically Little Women (the 2018 version) is amazing and although it sticks pretty true to the original story there are enough modernizing tweaks to make the experience the teeniest bit surprising amidst the nostalgic heart bursting and eyes brimming with tears. The. Whole. Movie.

I loved the re-telling and re-imagining of this classic story and I can’t wait to read the book again. In fact, the whole way through the film I was thinking how much I needed to read Little Women again. And Little Men. And Jo’s Boys. And the others.

Even 150 years after it was written, the story holds up. The love between sisters is timeless—no matter how different they are, theirs is an impenetrable bond.

“I could never love anyone as I love my sisters.” Louisa May Alcott

On September 28, 2018 Little Women releases in theatres everywhere.


So, basically Little Women (the 2018 version) is amazing and although it sticks pretty true to the original story there are enough modernizing tweaks to make the experience the teeniest bit surprising amidst the nostalgic heart bursting and eyes brimming with tears. The. Whole. Movie.

Little Women synopsis

Sisters—and dreams—are unique in their ability to inspire, encourage and change the world. For 150 years, Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women has motivated women of all ages to dream together and celebrate family. Coming to theatres for the first time, a modern retelling of Little Women brings a new generation together with their mothers, sisters and friends.

From girls playing in the attic to women living with purpose, the March sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy—are committed to always supporting each other. Yet, growing up sometimes means growing apart. An aspiring writer, Jo leaves for New York determined to publish a novel. In the wake of rejected draft upon draft, her editor challenges Jo to write about something more interesting—her family. When tragedy brings the sisters back home, sticking together takes on new meaning. As Jo comforts her sick sister, Beth asks for one thing: a story. Jo knows the perfect one…by heart.

On the 150th anniversary of the beloved classic, Little Women, the first-ever modern retelling, brings the same sisters to a new generation to celebrate dreams, family and unconditional love in theatres September 28.

Other movie reviews

Benefits of Having a Literary Agent

A literary agent represents writers and authors and is equal parts opportunity finder, deal negotiator and career advisor. While it’s not required to have a literary agent to get a traditional book deal, most writers recommend having one.

Since they’re up-to-date with the latest book publishing trends and have in-depth market knowledge, literary agents are positioned to handle the business end of writing—allowing you to focus on the writing end of writing.

Benefits of Having a Literary Agent

I met an author who told me how he got a book deal without an agent. I’m glad to meet someone who had a positive publishing experience this way but I have questions. Why did he skip this step? What made him want to pursue traditional publishing on his own? Would he do it again for his next book?

Here are a few ways having a literary agent benefits a writer

Legitimate agents work on commission so they don’t get paid unless you do. Talk about common interests! You can rest assured they have your best interests at heart.

Literary agents have a strong knowledge of the publishing business and have access to major publishing houses. They know they right people working in the right places and can get those doors open quicker than you can.

They read a lot and know what sells. Literary agents know good writing, they know the market and they know what editors are looking for. They know what you need to do to get a book deal.

Think of a literary agent as a connector. They connect authors with the appropriate publisher, negotiate the best deals possible and mediate any issues between the writer and editor that may arise during the book publishing process.

If you want a literary agent take some time researching the different ones out there and make a list of ones you think are a good fit for you and your writing. You find a literary agent through querying your book. While there aren’t really “types” of literary agents they all have different areas of expertise and preferred genre.

it's not required to have a literary agent to get a traditional book deal

Obtaining a literary agent isn’t necessary if you’re self-publishing a book. You may consider hiring a publicist or business coach, but these are different roles than what a literary agent plays.

Other posts you’ll find helpful

Evergreen Content Ideas for Writers

One of the hardest thing about being a working freelance writer is coming up with content for your personal website and digital platforms, which is why you need an evergreen content strategy. Trust me on this, it will change your life.

Evergreen Content Ideas for Bloggers

Writers who want to build an online platform know they should be producing content online, maybe a blog or something similar. And in theory it makes sense—a blog is an excellent way to showcase your skills as a writer and advertise your services. In reality things are a bit trickier. What do you write about? And how do you balance writing for yourself/your site with writing for clients?

This is where an evergreen content strategy comes in

Evergreen content can be described as the foundation of your blog—and this surprises many people for a couple reasons. First, because it’s hard to comprehend how timeless articles can stay relevant over time and second because hardly anyone has heard of evergreen content.

How can evergreen content be a foundation when I’ve never heard of it before!?

I know! But I’ll explain everything and you’ll never wonder what to write about on your website again.

First I’ll talk about what evergreen content is, then I’ll explain how to come up with evergreen content ideas in a way you can balance with your freelance writing workload.

What is evergreen content?

“Evergreen” is jargon but the word makes sense—think of evergreen trees, they keep their needles year-round and the needles maintain their green colouring thus, ever-green. Evergreen content works the same way, it stays relevant year-round and answers questions people are asking years after it was written.

Why you should employ an evergreen content marketing strategy is because this timeless, relevant information will deliver a consistent stream of leads to your website month over month. It takes a bit of time and effort to set up but once you have the wheels in motion this approach will allow you to spend your mental energy on your freelance clients while your website works in the background.

How to come up with evergreen content ideas

The best way to come up with ideas is to know your audience. In a freelance writer’s case, your audience is your ideal client. Think about who you serve and what problems they’re trying to solve. Your website or blog content should solve those problems and answer common questions. The more questions you answer the stronger your foundation.

Here’s what you need to do when coming up with evergreen content ideas: get clear on who you’re talking to (your ideal reader) and what you offer (what’s your goal? What are you trying to achieve?), decide what your topics are, and put everything into a calendar template.

To systemize these ideas (and actually get them written) you’ll need to take your ideas and build a content calendar with them.

Of course we could go a lot deeper when talking about creating evergreen content—there’s SEO, keyword research and virality to consider. But for today we’ll stick with the concept of evergreen content and building a strong online foundation as the base of your freelance writing business. When done well it’s a beautiful thing.

One of the hardest thing about being a working freelance writer is coming up with content for your personal website and digital platforms, which is why you need an evergreen content strategy. Trust me on this, it will change your life.

Bonus: here’s a helpful post on what type of posts work best for evergreen content from Thirteen Thoughts.

Authority Marketing: How to Leverage 7 Pillars [book review]

When you think of marketing what comes to mind? I’m betting it’s not an authority marketing system. I know this because when people come to me needing marketing help they have a specific solution in mind, which they hope is a silver bullet to solve their business problem. And sometimes gimmicks or marketing tactics can be effective but they’re not a long-term solution.

Authority Marketing Review Header

That’s why I love Authority Marketing from authors Adam Witty and Rusty Shelton. It’s a straightforward how-to for building a sustainable marketing strategy for your business.

The big idea with building authority as a marketing strategy (and authority marketing in general), is it starts with the end in mind—you build your strategy around reaching your business or personal goals and take a systemized approach to achieving them. It’s organized, focused and calm. I love calm.

Witty and Shelton take their readers on a no-nonsense journey through the why’s and what’s of authority marketing before diving into the how’s. Broken into seven pillars, their marketing approach mirrors mine in many ways.

  • Branding/Omnipresence
  • Lead generation
  • Content marketing
  • PR and media
  • Speaking
  • Events
  • Referral marketing

I think the most important thing to notice is these are seven pillars, not seven stand-alone items you can try sometimes. It’s seven elements you need to have working systematically in order to keep your marketing machine running.

And yes, that seems like a lot of work. Because it is. And you don’t get all seven pillars up and running overnight—it’s a long game. You identify your goals, you build your strategy, you devise ways to implement these seven pillars and then you systemize it so it’s sustainable.

This is such an amazing process and once you have all the pieces in place it is awe-inspiring to see how well it works. Trust me on this, if you want a comprehensive overview of what a long-term, sustainable marketing strategy looks like, Authority Marketing is an excellent place to start.


Authority Marketing: How to Leverage 7 Pillars of Thought Leadership to Make Competition Irrelevant synopsis

Learn how to use Authority Marketing® to build thought leadership and dominate your competition by playing a game no one else knows is being played with this ground-breaking book!

Are you the Authority in your field? Are you recognized as a stand-out thought leader, a published author, a keynote speaker, or a media personality? Are you viewed as a commodity? A hard-working expert who is a commodity and has to compete on every level, including price?

One thing is for certain: Authority doesn’t just happen; Authority is built through a systematic process called the Authority Marketing System.

But how can you make this shift in an environment that is noisier and more crowded than ever before? If you are an entrepreneur, CEO, or professional who is frustrated with the traditional approach to marketing and wants to grow your business and make a bigger impact, this book will show you how to use the Authority Marketing System to create a clear and trackable blueprint to shift yourself from a commoditized expert to a highly visible Authority.

In this book you will learn:

  • What Authority Marketing is and how to use it to grow your business
  • The 7 Pillars of Authority Marketing
  • How others have used Authority Marketing to create unimaginable success
  • Why thought leadership is your most important secret weapon

Authority Marketing isn’t about ego or attention—it’s about accelerating the speed of trust so you are viewed not as an expert with something to sell, but as a thought leader with important insight to teach. Start growing your Authority today!

The big idea with building authority as a marketing strategy (and authority marketing in general), is it starts with the end in mind—you build your strategy around reaching your business or personal goals and take a systemized approach to achieving them. It's organized, focused and calm. I love calm.

Other reviews

When to Query a Book

On this long and winding road called the publishing journey there’s the question of when to query a book. The answer isn’t too mind blowing but it comes up enough that it’s worth covering.

When to query a book

The answer of when to query a book is different for fiction and non-fiction, and there are different answers within non-fiction as well. Here are the basics.

When to query a book: fiction

If you’re querying a fiction book it both needs to be 100 per cent finished and revised/edited. In other words, your book needs to be complete.

One pub tip I read from an agent read she shouldn’t be the first person to read your book. Good advice!

When to query a book: non-fiction

This is a bit trickier to answer but I’ll try. The best advice is to check out the agent or editor you’re querying and see what their requirements are—because it seems like all non-fiction agents/editors want similar yet different things.

If you’re writing memoir or narrative non-fiction then your manuscript needs to be complete before querying (same as fiction). However, if you’re writing prescriptive non-fiction then you do not need to have a finished manuscript before querying.

I’m pleased about the prescriptive non-fiction rules because it’s what I’m writing but I’ve learned you still need to have the book figured out and, like, thought through because you need an amazing book proposal should you get past the query stage.

And another hitch with prescriptive non-fiction is you need a significant platform in order to get an agent or editor. I know. But you just do.

Since learning this I can see many reasons for holding off on querying even if you’re manuscript or proposal is ready. Because getting an agent or editor isn’t the only moving target in this adventure—there is so much more to consider. So. We’re all excited and just want to query the heck out of our books. But I challenge you to ask yourself if you’re really ready. Is your manuscript ready? Is your platform ready? Are you ready? If you have considered these questions then you know when to query a book.

On this long and winding road called the publishing journey there's the question of when to query a book. The answer isn't too mind blowing but it comes up enough that it's worth covering.

More about non-fiction publishing